October 20, 2011

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Essential Inclusions For Your Website

Today we’re going back to basics with a look at the essential elements for all good agency websites. Everyone knows you need a website for your agency, but it’s no longer good enough to have just any old website. It needs to be fabulous with the latest gizmos and tricks. Or does it? Here’s our list of the most important things to include in - and leave out of - your agency website.

Must Haves:

Good domain name. The name of the website should accurately reflect your business name so it will be more easily found by those using search engines. It is also simply good practice to have the domain mirror your business name - an obscure domain name just raises questions.

Email addresses. Your email addresses should be reflective of your website’s domain name, eg: www.abc.com as the domain name and [email protected] as the email address. These email addresses should be used on the website as contact details.

SEO ready. The website should be built with SEO in mind. That is, meta data, keywords, heading tags and content should all be optimised so that the site can be easily indexed by search engines and therefore found by users. For more information on SEO, see our guest series here.

Content management system. Your site should be easily editable via some sort of back-end system that only certain users can access. Your designer should provide a way to update and add content on certain parts of your website so that you can alter things as your business changes.

Clear contact information. A user should not have to go searching for ways to contact your business. After all, the idea is that you entice people to contact you! Make sure you have email addresses and phone numbers clearly visible on multiple pages of the site and that someone actually monitors these contact requests.

Clear navigation. Don’t force people to guess where information is found on your site. Make it easy for them with clearly and sensibly labelled sections. Have the most important information and functions (ie. the search functionality) available up front so users are not having to navigate through multiple pages to get to it.

Search functionality. This should be available from the home page as well as in a For Sale or For Lease section. Most users going to an agency website are there to look at the listings. Make it easy for them.

Additional relevant content. It is a good idea to included relevant local content on your site for buyers, sellers, renters, landlords and those interested in the property market. Things such as buying guides, government grants, legal and financial information as well as local services are all positive inclusions. This sort of content is good for SEO purposes and also helps engage and re-engage users with your website. To be able to provide more than just listings is a great service for those interested in property, particularly if it is local news or market commentary that changes regularly.

Good photos. Your listings should all contain multiple high-quality images. The web is a visual medium and browsers like nothing more than to look at lots of pictures of their new potential home. Other images on the site should likewise be of high quality and well positioned to capture attention and be relevant to surrounding content.

Portal feeds. The website’s content management system should allow for multiple uploads to other sites, namely portal websites that your agency advertises on. You don’t want to have to load up listings on to your own website and then do it again for the portals.

Maps. Mapping tools have become faster and more intelligent in recent times and provide a great service to those searching for property. In an industry where it’s all about location, having a map to plot properties on, and even one that includes local services and relative distances, is an integral part of modern property searching.

Sold properties. A list of recently sold properties with sale prices and asking prices is a great tool for both buyers and sellers considering using your agency. Results speak volumes and if you are proud of your efforts you have nothing to lose by publishing these results.

Don’t Need:

Picture of the principal/owner on the home page. This was once the mainstay of all agency websites, but is now considered a real no-no. It is unnecessary and can be seen as narcissistic! The About Us section is the perfect place to include photos and bios of the staff that make the agency so great.

Reams of information about the business. Whilst some information about the business is essential for selling the services and benefits, you don’t need to go overboard here. Most users know what an estate agency offers. Some select testimonials and a succinct list of services offered will suffice. The best way to differentiate yourself from your competitors is to offer market intelligence or commentary and provide regular updates to your readers in a news-style section.

May Want:

You may want to include some other widgets on your site such as currency converters, language converters, short-term rental calendars, and hotlist management tools.


Related posts:

  1. Top 10 Tips for Your Agency Website
  2. Website Spotlight: houlihanlawrence.com
  3. Website Spotlight: locomusings.com
  4. Website Spotlight: nestrealtygroup.com
  5. 10 Local Content Ideas for Your Website
  6. Website Spotlight: jimolenbush.com
  7. Tech Trends from the NAR Conference: Part 4 – Local Information
  8. Website Spotlight: gellens.com
  9. Website Spotlight: christophechoo.com
  10. An Insider’s Take on Real Estate Website Design


  1. Eileen Hardy says:

    Thanks for this article - have printed it off to use as a check list - keep up the good work

  2. Alice Allan says:

    Thanks for the feedback Eileen!


  3. Andy W says:

    Any recommendation for a good content management system or WordPress plugin to set up a property site?
    I am currently looking into AgentPress and am tempted to buy it this week. Just hoping it is straightforward to get it up and running.
    I bought WP Realty plugin a couple months back and it has been an utter disaster! 2 months wasted mucking around trying to solve database errors and all sorts of other rubbish - any thoughts?

  4. Alice Allan says:

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for your question. Not having used AgentPress myself, I can’t recommend it personally, but it does seem to be a popular option for agents using WordPress. I had a look for some reviews and could only come up with generally positive impressions:




    Hope these help you in making your decision,



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